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I Am Property, Let Me Be – Part II: Senseless Poppycock

When weighing in on the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the state’s ban on gay marriage citing a conflict with Iowa’s constitutional commitment to equal protection to all citizens, Rod Dreher in Beliefnet.com made the argument that marriage is not a “right” but an “ancient and fundamental social institution” used to create stable families for producing and raising children, a common argument against gay marriage. This reeks of religious dogma, the belief of which those with deeply held convictions are entitled.

Certainly no one has proposed, is proposing or will propose that religious institutions be required to perform gay marriages within the walls of their churches, synagogues, temples, or Mosques if said institutions find the concept of gay marriage contrary to their principles and beliefs. As marriage in this country is a civil matter with licenses obtained from and recorded by the state or county in which the marriage takes place, gay couples, or straight couples for that matter, do not depend on religious ceremonies to provide legitimacy and legality for their marriages. In most states judges, court clerks or justices of the peace have the authority to perform marriages thereby avoiding any conflict with religious views.  

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I am Property, Let Me Be

If I lived in Iowa, I would be mad as hell and I would not take it anymore. The nerve of the Iowa Supreme Court to rule in favor of Gay Marriage. Have they no values? In the April 3 ruling the court wrote, “We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective,” and that Iowa’s lawmakers had “excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification.” In other words, the Justices feel that excluding a class of people from marrying serves no purpose and that equal protection under the law as provided for in Iowa’s Constitution, even in civil marriage, trumps a parochial “tradition” of marriage as between one man and one woman and to exclude . . .

According to the Court, the plaintiffs in the case conveyed “the disadvantages and fears they face each day due to the inability to obtain a civil marriage in Iowa.” For example, “the legal inability to make many life and death decisions affecting their partner, including decisions related to health care . . . the inability to share in their partners’ state-provided health insurance, public employee pension benefits, and many private-employer-provided benefits and protections,” and the denial of “several tax benefits.”

“Yet, perhaps the ultimate disadvantage expressed in the testimony of the plaintiffs, is the inability to obtain for themselves and for their children the personal and public affirmation that accompanies marriage.” Without the legal right to marry, there is no way to legally, socially, and morally establish a family, an important social unit in our global communities. Marriage establishes kinship. Kinship establishes a family. Continue reading

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